Hiring Well is Only One Part of the Puzzle

blog May 03, 2024

You can't outrun a bad hire.


There's no doubt that getting the hiring decision right is essential to building an amazing team that's going to do all the right things for your business and really help you have a successful business.


But the reality is hiring well is only one part of the puzzle and it's something I've seen clients alone the hard way over and over again.


The rest of the pathway that an employee takes with your business is equally important to ensuring you have not just a successful hire, but someone who stays with you long term who is loyal, motivated, engaged, productive – all those great things we want our employees to be.

The secret sauce to this is great leadership through a clear framework I call the P.E.O.P.L.E Pathway.


You can’t outrun a bad hire – but what if you hired well and it’s still not working smoothly?

I thought I'd made great hiring choices early on in my business and I took my first holiday away from it. I’d planned everything to perfection and left it with a great team of excellent hires – but here's what happened.


On the first day of my holiday, first thin in the morning, my phone rang and I thought it was my husband saying if I wanted a coffee – it wasn't.


It was one of my best clients and I knew she wouldn’t call just to wish me happy holidays – something had happened. And indeed, something had happened and I was the only person that could fix it. Despite setting up her project to go smoothly in my absence, my team couldn’t resolve this issue without me.

So, I thought I had a great team but something had happened where they didn’t have what they needed to look after my business in my absence.

The crystal-clear revelation was that this was my responsibility. The buck stops with me as a business owner and business success ultimately has two key ingredients:

  1. the right team
  2. great leadership.


We can be often quick to point out when our team aren't great, but sometimes we're not so quick to point out when possibly we are to blame because of how we're managing, how we're leading the structures and systems we've put in place.


And this was a lifelong lesson for me as a business owner and leader. I had created a team that we're not delivering and I decided in that moment, this is not what I want for my business.


How do you ensure your team is set up for success?

After years of working in HR, I developed a blueprint for setting up any team for success. I call it the P.E.O.P.L.E Pathway: Plan, Employ, Onboard, Protect, Leverage, and Exit.


This pathway is an end-to-end framework for the entire recruitment process in any business or organisation. It hits the key touchpoints that allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your people and guide you in supporting them through their time in your business.



Planning is crucial not just at the start of your recruitment journey but throughout the entire journey itself – not to mention across your whole business. If we fail to plan, we’re planning to fail so the saying goes. I often use the Clean Sight Exercise with clients to help them get clear on where they are, where their gaps and surplus are and whether their structure serves their business vision. An important part of planning is having complete clarity about what you want – and the plan is what helps you identify what you need to do to get there.



The landscape around employing people has shifted rapidly, particularly post pandemic. Employing is about identifying where our gaps are and strategically designing a role that will fill those gaps and help your business succeed towards long term goals and visions. This is where creating attraction strategies, gaining clarity around who you want, and then creating a shortlist of candidates that matches your criteria. Often we find ourselves hiring too late, out of desperation to get anyone on board to help and that why planning is such an crucial aspect for small businesses.


Another step in the framework where a lot of business fall over is their onboarding process, sometimes even their lack of onboarding. Onboarding is a critical element to ensure that your new hire is set up to succeed – even the best hire will struggle if they have no way to demonstrate their capabilities because your business doesn’t have any systems or processes around their onboarding. This includes all the policies and due diligence, but also the softer skills around cultivating healthy and safe cultures for people to work within.



Protecting your people and business ties into the onboarding experience for your new hires, the policies, the procedures, the systems, the culture and being compliant with your responsibilities as a leader and a business owner. The most fun I have with clients is helping them understand the hard and firm rules, the right policies to protect their business and their people and then understanding where they can help their team flourish.


Leveraging is where you can get creative and do things that are intuitive, responsive and directly help your team play to their strengths, complement their areas of improvement and continue to help your business thrive – as well as ensuring your people are thriving along with it. Skipping this part of the framework can lead to poor staff retention, poor business results and a lot of stress for you.



Exit is understanding and having a graceful framework through which your team can continue their employment journey beyond your opportunity. Not everyone in your team is as committed to your business and vision as you are, and it’s a natural part of the employment cycle to see staff move on for a range of different reasons. If you’ve nailed each step of the P.E.O.P.L.E Pathway, then the reason your staff would exit your business is to experience opportunities that are outside of the the scope you offer – and that is perfectly okay.






Hiring the right people is just part of a holistic framework to set your business up for success. Ensuring that you’re set up across the entire journey of your team from entry to exit and keep planning at the forefront of how you operate will help you keep your business and team on track.


An invitation to join a thriving business community

If you’ve identified any gaps in the P.E.O.P.L.E Pathway when it comes to your business, I’d love for you to join us inside our free Facebook Group where you can connect with other like-minded business owners, leaders and managers to discuss all things HR: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hrsupportaustralia


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